Johrei testimonials are often shared during monthly services. A very helpful testimonial workshop was presented at the national meeting this past May. Guidelines provided in a workshop help in organizing our thoughts and recollection, to highlight the experience and connect it with Johrei principles. Even if a person has not participated in a testimonial workshop, a heartfelt Johrei experience can inspire and move, reflecting gratitude and revelation. A testimonial is about giving life to a deep experience and inviting others to share their stories as well. It is not about preaching or giving a sermon. As a shared experience, a testimonial can break down the walls of race, age, gender or socio-economic status and it can remind people that we can all share the blessing of Johrei.
Around the early 1990’s, a collection of testimonials written by ministers and members who had received Johrei from Meishu-sama was put together. It was titled Meishu-sama’s Johrei. These included miracles witnessed by people when Meishu-sama channeled to them. In the early days of his spiritual movement, these people were not in attendance to listen to lectures about a belief system or theological philosophy more common among institutionalized religions. They were suffering from physical and other chronic conditions, or they had family members who were ailing. Many had sought known medical and alternative treatments with no positive result.
After Meishu-sama’s departure from the physical realm in 1955, many of his close followers became the early pioneers of the Johrei movement, spreading the word in Japan and overseas. These efforts helped establish the various organizations that exist today. People learned about his life through their Johrei centers, ministers, lay leaders and other members who guided them to this path. Publications of the teachings were translated in different languages.
As described in these testimonials, Meishu-sama determined the cause of purification, located the vital points on the body and then channeled Johrei. He was focused and didn’t waste excess time or energy. He expected the recipients to be aware of the importance of respecting time and place as well. On some occasions, he inquired about the individual’s circumstances and shared an observation and gave guidance. His sharing was based on the person’s level of awareness and circumstances of the purification. People also observed that he very seldom told them to pray and he never proselytized when administering Johrei.
After his organization was formally established, he expanded his views and reflections on spiritual matters through essays which we know as the “Teachings.” He was aware that after experiencing the blessings and transformation through Johrei, people would need instruction and guidance to understand his work on a deeper level. Meishu-sama’s writings included topics on politics, ethics, economics, ecology, art, health and nutrition. He discussed both religious and secular matters and also wrote about the esoteric aspects of spiritual practice. The publication titled Okada Purifying Therapy (or earlier collection in Johrei Spiritual Science) provides instruction and understanding on how Johrei fosters health in the body and mind and provides guidance on vital points.
It would be fair to say that the worldwide Johrei family is not a uniform association. Depending on each nation, its culture, organizational structure and leadership, some Johrei organizations may function like traditional organized religions, some may have a more flexible structure, while others may simply view Johrei as a way of life, with a focus on universal spiritual principles. Whatever the reason people are drawn to Johrei and Meishu-sama, the common denominator is that Johrei is a force for good and a divine energy that manifests miracles.
Johrei is a miracle for the individual and the world
The word miracle comes from the Latin meaning "wonderful" or "object of wonder." A contemporary definition found in a dictionary describes the word as “something that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency.”
Meishu-sama viewed nature as a great teacher and he observed that natural law was part of this divine agency. He wrote: “The functions of nature are the embodiment of truth. The personifier of truth, the ruler of the universe is addressed by the honorific title of ‘God.’ Cosmic will equates the will of God. According to this principle, Nature itself is God’s will and the true state of Nature is the embodiment of God’s will.” (Healing Art in Accord with Divine Will. From: study guide)
In another essay, he writes: “Fundamentally speaking, when looking at all things in Nature between Heaven and Earth coming into existence and growing, meeting and parting; prospering and declining; in fact, what seems to be unnatural is natural, what seems to be accidental in inevitable, and there are laws that are as unyielding as they appear to be obscure. These facts utterly transcend the intelligence and scientific principles of human beings.”(Medical Science and Nature. From: study guide)
There are testimonials and study material available that demonstrate how Johrei plays a role in the elimination of harmful substances, or toxins, from the body and how this divine energy can act as a protective and cleansing agent. Johrei has an effect on both the physical and metaphysical bodies and the outcome is influenced by the condition of the person, including life choices and experiences.
How we respond to, or perceive purification, is also important. Johrei is like a spiritual filtration system and when we can filter out toxins and impurities, we are better able to process information in our minds. The mind controls how we view the world and ourselves, our ego. It never rests – even when we are asleep. The mind has different components which include mental activity such as thinking, remembering, evaluating and processing information, problem-solving, insight-learning and reasoning.
In his teachings, Meishu-sama said that we receive information and guidance from the Divine Will by way of the yukon - a Japanese word used to describe a counterpart of an individual’s soul in the spiritual world. He said that the level in which this counterpart dwells, determines the level or condition of one’s experience in this physical world. He also said that it is almost impossible for the average person to make intuitive contact with this counterpart and that only a small minority of people is free from the level of impurities that cloud the human being.
When this filtration system is in good working order, we are better able to receive this information to use it for the benefit of ourselves and for the world. Johrei is a way to help create that connection and transform the mind. It is crucial in helping us maintain our balance and to keep our minds free from the influence of negativity and discord.
Today, opposing energies seem to be locked in a vortex which causes confusion, agitation and has a destructive effect on the natural world. With the principle of the spiritual preceding the physical playing a role in this, much of what is manifesting is caused by the thoughts and actions of humans. The spirit of Fire is increasing and we witness the results in the natural world in the form of unprecedented natural disasters – from record highs temperatures in Northern Europe to the Mediterranean; record rainfall and flooding in Japan and Southeast Asia and severe drought in Australia. These are not the only disasters the world is experiencing.
Meishu-sama said that conflict among humans started in the spiritual realm since the beginning of creation. The struggle between the weak and the strong and the resulting conflicts represent the half-civilized and the half-barbaric nature of humans. As much as we may abhor such negative situations, we are reminded that the people who trigger destructive events are also part of a great plan to purify the world. Humanity must traverse this path to achieve that goal of establishing a paradise of earth. These revelations can be studied in detail in The Current Situation of the World and the Spiritual Realm and in The Strata in the Spiritual Realm. (Foundation of Paradise)
Anyone who wears a focal point can transmit Johrei, but channeling effective Johrei means that we don’t become complacent or competitive. It is more constructive to seek ways on becoming the most effective Johrei channel as one can be. It is more helpful to work toward becoming confident without pride, grateful without expectation and to be authentic and humble. By understanding and establishing a personal connection with Meishu-sama and with deep sense of gratitude, we can step out of the way and channel Johrei.
The process of Johrei is always working, even in the midst of purifications. It helps to mitigate the degree of suffering and the healing process can be accelerated. We can also create a form of protection - like an energy bubble or aura - through our thoughts and actions which is like accumulating credit in a spiritual bank account. In a regular bank, we will only be able to withdraw an amount equal to what we have deposited. A "spiritual ATM" can only release the corresponding level of positive credit that one has accumulated.
Blessings and Gratitude
Meishu-sama wrote: “When people do good things, they are motivated by love, mercy or a sense of social justice—in a broader sense, by love for mankind. Some do good deeds because they believe in the law of karma; that is, they believe that if they sow virtue they will reap virtue. Some help others because of a strong feeling of compassion. There are also people who do good for others as expressions of gratitude for "the four kinds of blessings," as taught in Buddhism.”
From another essay: “When a man does something to help another, that person's sense of gratitude forms light, which is transmitted to the helpful one through the spiritual cord. This also increases both the width and intensity of his aura... I wish to remind those who dedicate themselves as channels for Johrei that the wider their auras are, the more effectively they can channel. And, the more people they help through Johrei, the wider and more radiant their auras become, and the more effective their Johrei is. This is due to their giving service for the Divine Cause and to the gratitude received from those who have benefited through this service.”(Radiation and Aura. FOP)
Meishu-sama’s wife, Nidai-sama, shared her thoughts on gratitude through these simple words: "It is important for us to study the Teachings of truth and absorb them. Remember, however, simply to have knowledge of the laws means very little unless we begin using them. When we express our heartfelt gratitude for the abundant blessings of God, it is possible for us to give real, sincere service continuously. Service gives birth to added blessings, and these in turn increase our sense of gratitude. Out of gratitude we give more service, which brings us still further blessings. This action might be called a beneficial circle. Living in this way, we will begin to receive more blessings every day. We will grow spiritually until we become individuals of truly high character, with a faith which will never waver in any situation."
Our pioneer minister, Rev. Higuchi wrote: “Those with true spiritual understanding never forget to express their gratitude. The more understanding one gains, the more appreciative one becomes, finding many things to be grateful for in life.”
Examples of miracles in the form of protection by divine providence, or through one’s accumulated karma can be found all around us and not just among Johrei members. Often times, such testimonials are quickly forgotten in the short-attention news cycle of the day. They remind us that miracles and blessings still exist.
Not very long ago, a real-life drama unfolded in Thailand. Many people around the globe were drawn by the saga of a group of young boys who were trapped in a cave. This incident demonstrated how people from diverse backgrounds can be brought together in the face of adversity. It also revealed compassion and generosity. While the world was focused on the daring rescue mission and the rescuers, there was the humble farmer whose rice crop was destroyed by the huge amounts of water that had to be pumped out of the cave system. When asked about it, he simply said that it was all worth it so that the lives of the kids could be saved. Another volunteer lost his life during the rescue mission. He didn’t know the kids personally and was retired, but he just wanted to be part of the effort.
These boys may have shared a bond of common karma and their safe rescue was a great blessing. In the tradition of the faith practice in their country, they completed the circle through the expression of gratitude. After they were released from the hospital where they had been recuperating, these boys spent several weeks in a monastery. Following the practice of traditional monks, they donned robes, shaved heads and dedicated themselves in gratitude and reflection, praying for the soul of the rescuer who had lost his life. Some said that they wanted to give back by studying to become rescuers, like the people that brought them out of the caves. This is an example of gratitude emerging out of adversity.
Another incident that happened recently was the plane crash in Mexico where all 103 occupants survived. Aviation experts said the chances of everyone surviving was extremely remote. Perhaps these people may have also shared a spiritual destiny and were protected by a collective divine aura. The passengers included a group from a church and one lady shared her experiences in an interview. She described how she held on to the arm of her 15-year old daughter as people were scrambling to escape from the wreckage. When they finally stumbled out and saw the smoke and fire behind, she was convinced that they were the only survivors.
When asked if this was a miracle and protection from God, her response had a calm sense of clarity and depth of sincerity. She believed that a higher power was somehow connected and that something precious had been given to her. She said that it was a turning point in her life and she was clearer about her purpose. She was now inspired and determined to expand the small non-profit she had established to help disabled people.
Seeking to be used by God when a blessing or miracle is received is completing the circle of gratitude. The experiences can be big or small, but they are all life-changing. The same expression and sincerity can be found in the testimonials from the people who were blessed to receive the Light from Meishu-sama. Testimonials are like the teachings and we all have a story of transformation through Johrei. When shared, they create a circle of gratitude larger than the individual.
I was led to and saved
By God's Divine Light.
How can I express my thanks
Except by serving the Divine Cause
With all my heart and soul?
I am no greater
Than a seashore's grain of sand,
But God, please accept
This token of gratitude;
It is given from my heart.
(Gratitude and its Expression - poem by Meishu-sama)